Update on the Student Information System Project (Thesis)

Gaining Knowledge and Moving Forward 


—From the desk of Brier Albano, Associate Vice-President, Student Success


As you may know, Selkirk College has experienced challenges with the implementation of the student information system project (as discussed previously here). It is important to share with you that, as of last week, Selkirk College has elected not to proceed with the Thesis contract and will no longer be moving forward with the planned Thesis student information system. 

The college is no longer confident Thesis can provide a product in a timely way that respects Selkirk College’s needs and budget. Thesis has several hurdles to overcome prior to a successful implementation with any Canadian college. At this stage, Selkirk College needs to return to investing in our own procedures, processes and upgrades to enhance the experience of students and employees. We are confident this decision will put us on the best path toward achieving the mandate, plans and goals of Selkirk College. 

Moving the College Forward 

While the student information system is not going ahead, most aspects of Project Auora have been extremely successful, and we have accomplished a tremendous amount of what we intended to do. Through the efforts of the project team, we have finished mapping numerous processes and procedures and have successfully implemented more than 80% of the technical upgrades, including:  

  • Blackbaud Finance System for the Selkirk College Foundation and Advancement  
  • Blackbaud Student Awards System  
  • Unit 4 Budget Module  
  • Unit 4 Contract Module  
  • Unit 4 Human Resource Module  
  • Unit 4 integrations with current operating systems  
  • Unit 4 Payroll Module  
  • Unit 4 Procurement Module  
  • Unit 4 Recruit (Staff) Module  

Gaining Knowledge 

Delays in implementing Thesis made it necessary to invest significantly in understanding and growing the current student records system (SRS). Through learning, building capacity and advancing expertise in SRS, the project team solved problems and implemented integrations that were previously thought too challenging. This allowed us to view SRS as a viable option going forward, which was not the case previously.  We now feel confident that we can provide a more positive experience by stepping away from Thesis and focusing on how we work at Selkirk College to promote student success using SRS as a tool. 

Next Steps 

The college will now be working toward an SRS enhancement plan to help meet our goals and to continue the great progress made toward the needs identified by Project Aurora—even as we close this important and successful chapter. Timelines for what this will look like are being developed and should be available in the fall. 

There are no components of this decision that are confidential, so if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to send me, Brier Albano, an email (, or invite me to a meeting to talk about the project and the outcome.  

We will share this message again in the fall to ensure broad communication with the whole college community.